In preparation for my back surgery, I went to the Hanger Prosthetics and Orthodics Company to get fitted for a back brace; which of course, I’m wearing now all the time except when I’m laying down.

As I waited in the office, i noticed a piece of paper explaining how this company began. It turns out it was started in 1861 by James Edward Hanger and is our nation’s largest prosthetics and orthodics company with over 620 branches nationwide.

What was particularly fascinating is that James Hanger started the company because he was the first amputee of the Civil War. He was 18 years old and returned home to Virginia. He created an artificial leg from whittled barrel staves. He called it the “hanger limb” and fitted other Confederate amputees with his creation.

As I read about James Hanger, I was really touched recognizing how this young man used his difficult circumstances for good in his world. Rather than whining and complaining, he obviously helped others. As we say in the speaking/writing ministry, find a hole and fill it. He filled a hole and even now, 140 years later, his company is helping me by preventing me from moving wrong which could un-do the progress the surgeon made.

I think the Lord God has a hole for each of us to fill in His Kingdom. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (NASB). It’s so wonderful to remember that God has a purpose for every one of us.

Be inspired by James Hanger!